- Southern Shield Fern - Thelypteris Kunthii Hardy Planting Zones- 7-10 Sun or Shade – Sun and Partial Shade Mature Height - 24-48" Mature Width- 12-48" Bloom Season – Non-flowering Gardener Status- Beginner
Shield Fern are easy to grow and are exceptional for groundcover.
Shield Fern - Polystichum setiferum. Although it may appear tropical, the Shield Fern is a has feathery fronds that are hardy in texture and are thicker than most ferns. This plant is native to North America as well as southern and western Europe. The bright green fronds measure from 12 to 47 inches in length and have clusters of spores underneath. The fronds grow tall and triangular. They are a vibrant green color during the spring and summer months and turn bronze in autumn. Shield ferns tend to thrive in moist soil but can withstand drought.
As an herbaceous perennial, the Southern shield fern can extend your gardening season because it often stays green until December. Hardy in USDA zones 6 to 9, it provides visual interest even during the winter months. That’s because the first freeze of the season turns the fronds into bronze to cinnamon-brown color.
Once they’re entirely spent, cut the plants back so that new growth can emerge in the spring. In the summer, the Southern shield fern provides a fresh, fresh look, even in hot climates. Common names for this plant include regular shield fern, wood fern, and river fern.
This plant enjoys moist clay, limestone, loam or sand and pH-levels that are mildly alkaline, neutral or mildly acidic. Like most ferns, this variety likes organically amended the soil. Since it withstands poor drainage, it’s mainly at home in water gardens and wetland habitats. Southern shield fern thrives in conditions that range from partial shade to full sun.
Shield Ferns can even survive drought conditions when planted in shady areas.
This fern multiplies freely via spores so that you can cultivate spacious areas in your garden quickly. You can propagate the fibrous roots effortlessly via division. The plants typically grow between 24 to 36 inches tall but can reach heights of up to 5 feet.
Its lime to medium-green fronds arch gracefully and taper to a point. Foliage extends in all directions with clusters of stalks growing out from the rhizome. Because of these characteristics, the plants will add a subtle textural element to your garden.
Native to the southeastern United States, this deciduous fern is quite adaptable. While it prospers under hot and humid conditions, it also handles harsh winter environments surprisingly well. It can even tolerate brief exposure to temperatures below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. For these reasons, it’s ideal even for novice gardeners.
Shield Fern is deficient maintenance. Shield Fern is very easy to grow.
You can also pick it out by its feathery, deep green fronds that give it a beautiful tropical look. It even goes by the names wood fern, regular shield fern, river fern, and the Kunth’s Maiden fern. They are very hardy. This plant is the best to add to your landscape especially when you are contrasting bolder leaved plants. Its native habitat is the Southeast region of North America. In a serene woodland setting, it also adapts well to dry conditions once it is established. Care should be taken when buying this plant. It is not evergreen and will eventually die in the winter. It will need regular watering mostly just weekly or more frequently if the weather is on the warm side. When landscaping the best placements for them are as a border, dry shade, ground cover, rock garden, woodland garden. This is the perfect fern for beginners in the garden sector. This fern is most at home in the wetlands. This is a robust fern the only issue it could have is not enough water or moisture. It is not an evergreen fern so in the winter and fall it gives off this gorgeous bronze color.